Free Days in WA State Parks Announced

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announces that Martin Luther King Jr. holiday three-day weekend Jan. 14 through 16, will be the first of ten 2012 State Parks “free days,” when the Discover Pass will not be required of visitors venturing out to enjoy their state parks. Most of State Parks free days are in alignment with 2012 free days offered by the National Park Service.

The “free days” are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on state-managed recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Natural Resources. The Discover Pass legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 “free days” when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The free days only apply at state parks. A Discover Pass will still be required to access DFW and DNR lands.


Following are the 2012 State Parks “free days:”

  • Jan 14 through 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend
  • March 18 and 19 – In honor of Washington State Parks’ 99th birthday on March 19
  • June 9 – National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sept. 29 – National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 10 through 12 – Veterans Day weekend



The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs statewide. Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreation opportunities on a diverse array of park landscapes, from Pacific Ocean beaches to forest and mountain trails and the sweeping river gorge vistas of Eastern Washington. State Parks also offers historic areas and interpretive facilities. For more information, visit the State Parks web site at For information about the Discover Pass, visit online at


Washington State Parks is on Twitter at WaStatePks_NEWS and YouTube at WashingtonStateParks.